Interviews

Published on June 8th, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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A Look At The Acclaimed “Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road” Doc Via The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival

Even if you do not regularly listen to a lot of rock radio, you ought to know dozens of songs by The Beach Boys. “California Girls,” “Fun Fun Fun,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “I Get Around,” “God Only Knows,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “Sloop John B,” “Kokomo” — those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hits by the surf-rock pioneers. It has been 60 years since The Beach Boys formed in Hawthorne, California, and the band’s principal songwriter and creative force Brian Wilson is recording new music and touring the world at a high level. His most recent studio full-length was 2015’s No Pier Pressure, which was released by Capitol Records and reached the Top 40 in both the U.S. and U.K.

Screened this week at the Tribeca Film Festival was the documentary Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road. This film is centered around Rolling Stone editor (and Wilson’s longtime friend) Jason Fine and Wilson visiting old haunts of Wilson’s, giving him the opportunity to reflect on both his life and music. Without giving too much away, this leads Wilson to speak openly about a mix of topics that he has not often gone on-record about, including his childhood, his contentious relationship with father (and former Beach Boys manager) Murry, his 9-year “prison sentence” under the “guidance” of Dr. Eugene Landy, his struggles with depression and mental illness, his love for brothers Dennis and Carl, and what inspired particular songs and recording sessions. These recollections are mixed in with commentary from a variety of stars — including Beach Boys bandmate Al Jardine, producer Don Was, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Linda Perry, Nick Jonas and Jim James — and archival footage.

Following a screening of this excellent film — no release date has yet been announced — I had the pleasure of asking questions to Brian Wilson, Jason Fine and director Brent Wilson via a Zoom session hosted by Scott Mantz. Highlights from that quick Q&A have been transcribed below.

On why Brian Wilson favors the Beverly Glen Deli and what everyone’s favorite item to order there is:

Brian Wilson: Breakfast burritos and hamburgers.

Jason Fine: Brian, you go there a little to see Vanna White, too, right?

Brian Wilson: Right.

Brent Wilson: Why is it that the Beverly Glen Deli is your favorite restaurant?

Brian Wilson: The waiters and the waitresses and the cook.

Jason Fine: I just kind of follow Brian’s lead, so it’s a lot of Cobb salads, sometimes frozen yogurt, whatever Brian’s in the mood for, I’ll just go along with him.

On whether we may see some bonus footage from the film on a future release:

Brent Wilson: Certainly hope so, yes. You’re right, because there’s a lot of footage. There’s an entire scene we did at Capitol Records. [to Brian] Remember when we did that?

Brian Wilson: Yeah, right.

Jason Fine: What about Hawthorne High?

Brian Wilson: Right.

Jason Fine: We went down to Hawthorne High, where Brian got an F in music. We got it changed to an A. Remember that, Bri?

Brian Wilson: Right, yeah.


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal.Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."


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